How to train your dog to come when called
How do I teach my dog to come when her name is called?
- Have treats ready in your hand
Kibble or treats. Something yummy!
- Call your dog’s name with a happy tone of voice one time
Calling just once ensures that you are keeping her name fresh and unique. Saying it too many times can desensitize her to her own name.
- Keep making happy, excited noises until she comes to you
Make as many non-name noises as you like! Make it sound like a party she wants to go to! Woo!
- When she comes, reward by dropping a treat at your feet
- While she is eating, run to another part of the space and repeat
You can do this with two people, calling her back and forth following the above steps.
1. Find what your dog will work for. Food, affection, toys, etc…Food is usually the first option but not all dogs are food motivated. We will use food for this example.
2. When your dog does something successfully, quickly give them a small piece of the treat or food. This is called marking the behavior.
3. You can also use the marker word “Yes!” or another word of your choosing to mark the successful behavior, and then reward with a treat.
4. This is also called a bridge word because it bridges the gap between successful action and reward, and gives you time to get your treats.
5. Rewarding as quickly as possible for success is key to associating the action with the reward, so practice your timing until you have it down perfectly!
…or comb their hair, or touch their ears, or handle their tail, etc…
Dogs have boundaries, just like people do, and most people do not like when you start handling their bodies without their permission! Luckily, you can work with your dog to train them to love being handled and touched. This works best when they are still puppies and can be touched pretty much everywhere, but the programs can be modified for adult dogs too.
1) Start touching in a comfortable place, and reward simultaneously with every touch. 1 pet = 1 treat, with 1 or 2 seconds in between.
2) Give light touches to various other parts of the body, like ears, nose, chest, paws, tail, nails, stomach, etc… and treat simultaneously.
3) If growling or other stress signals start to occur, back off and work on a different, comfortable location, or end the game for now. Dogs “trigger stack”, so continually stressing them out will cause them to build up stress and potentially lash out.
4) When your dog is fully successful at the pet = treat scenario, change it a little so that 1 pet = 1 treat with a gap of 2-3 seconds between petting and treating.
5) This helps to condition the dog to expecting reward for calmly being handled, and lets their situational awareness process more fully.
6) From here, slowly building up the length of time of petting
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